As the second week of the Oceanic League Esports League’s group stages comes to a close, the tournament has started, albeit slowly, to develop its own meta.
The metagame has always been one of the most talked-about and significant topics of competitive Dota 2. At the very least, it’s what sets the title aside from other genres—the regular release of patches ensures that the game evolves and every match we play or watch is different. As the second week of the Oceanic League Esports League’s group stages comes to a close, the tournament has started, albeit slowly, to develop its own meta.
In esports, meta is a term used to describe something as more powerful when compared to others, whether it be a character, an item, or a strategy. It’s usually dictated based on the interpretation of the latest patch by those who play at the highest level. And in the case of the ANZ region’s latest effort to develop the grassroots level of its Dota 2 scene, Riki is meta.
It’s been quite a long time since the Stealth Assassin was even considered viable to fill the position one role in higher levels of play. Somehow, there’s always a better choice than him, like Juggernaut who’s more well-rounded, or Spectre and Faceless Void, whose ultimates can turn an ugly team fight around, or Phantom Assassin, who has the tools to clear the backline quick and efficiently, or Anti-Mage, who’s definitely more annoying to deal with and can’t be easily countered by mere Sentry Ward or Dust of Appearance.
With the latest patch reducing gold bounties and kill streak gold, however, carries whose impact in the game relies on their item timings, like Spectre’s Radiance or Anti-Mage’s Battle Fury, were indirectly nerfed. Meanwhile, carries who scale better with experience and don’t rely much on key items were starting to get a fair share of the limelight, like, you guessed it, Riki.
The reduced gold bounties and removal of gold-per-minute talent for all heroes may also be interpreted as an indirect buff to Riki. Unless a team drafts heroes with innate skills that grant true sight, like Slardar’s Corrosive Haze and Bounty Hunter’s Track, dealing with Riki exhausts a support’s gold as it constantly goes to detection items instead of utilities like Urn of Shadows or Force Staff.
After 50 action-packed Dota 2 matches in two weeks, Riki currently sits with a 75% win rate in eight games played—the third-highest win rate for a carry with more than five games played. He’s also garnered 19 bans, making him the most contested carry so far into the Oceanic Esports League.
League leaders Sincerely Fury, who currently boasts a 9-3 win-loss record, has yet to lose a game when the tournament debutant Zellyfish is playing Riki. He has won two games so far and averages with 10 kills, 21.5 assists, and 4.5 deaths. The most dominant Riki performance, however, belongs to another meteoric talent, GACHI, who plays carry for Flash Point Gaming. In a meeting against Lon’s Sweaty Soldiers, GACHI notched 11 kills and 13 assists in a 26-minute victory to extend their undefeated streak to 8-0.
Given the current trend, Riki’s dominance in the Oceanic Esports League has no signs of slowing down. But in the league with this many Riki players, the questions that we should be asking is who among them will be proven to be the stealthiest?
The third week of action in the Oceanic Dota 2 League will kick off with the first meeting between Spag’s Spag And Sons and Fury’s Sincerely Fury on Monday, April 27, 2020. Catch it live on the league’s official Twitch channel and don’t forget to give their Facebook and Twitter pages a follow for more information.